Global Entry Fee To Increase, And More Changes

Filed Under: Misc.

The United States Customs and Border Protection Bureau (USCBP) is intending to make some changes to the Global Entry program, and is currently seeking public feedback on these changes. There are some positive and negative changes, so let’s go through them.

As a refresher, for those not familiar with Global Entry, it’s a program that allows pre-qualified low risk travelers to get expedited immigration when entering the US.

Global Entry fee to increase to $120

Currently the Global Entry enrollment cost is $100 (this is valid for five years), while the plan is for the cost of Global Entry to increase to $120, so that would represent a 20% increase in price. I suppose the price has been the same for a long time, and there is inflation…

As it’s described, the current fees are no longer sufficient to recover the CBP’s costs to administer the program.

I’m a little bit confused by that. Travelers have to be screened upon arrival in the US either way. Isn’t it significantly more efficient to screen people with Global Entry, given that it requires less human interaction?

Obviously there’s a brief interview to get approved, but how inefficient is the program that the $100 fee isn’t doing the trick? It’s noted that in 2018 the program had $142.7 million in fee revenue.

I get the program probably isn’t profitable, but then again, most government programs aren’t. Is the program really so unprofitable that a price increase is warranted?

NEXUS fee to increase to $120 as well

NEXUS is arguably the best value Trusted Traveler Program. The enrollment fee is only $50, and that gets you Global Entry, TSA Pre-Check, and expedited immigration in Canada.

It’s bizarre that this has been so much cheaper than Global Entry, though I guess the catch is that the cost of NEXUS hasn’t been covered by credit cards that offer a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check fee credit.

Well, with this proposal, the cost of NEXUS would increase to $120 as well, which represents a 140% price increase. Increasing the cost of NEXUS seems more warranted to me, given that up until now it has offered more at half the cost.

Global Entry will be free for kids

Children can sign up for Global Entry, and they currently pay the same fee as adults.

With this proposed change, minors (under the age of 18) would be exempt from the application fee if they applied concurrently with a parent or legal guardian, or if their parent or legal guardian is already a member of the same program. Otherwise minors would still have to pay $120.

What would this mean for Global Entry credit card perks?

Currently a variety of premium credit cards offer a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit. The way this typically works, you can receive a statement credit of up to $100 every four or five years if you pay for a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check enrollment with your card.

If the fee for Global Entry increased to $120, what would that mean for this credit card benefit? I have a few thoughts:

  • The fee change hasn’t been finalized, so at this point all we can do is speculate based on a hypothetical
  • Personally I’d imagine that credit cards would increase the maximum statement credit to $120 to account for this, since reimbursing part of a fee isn’t as good of a marketing bullet
  • I guess it’s also possible that the credit of up to $100 is maintained, and then people just have to pay $20 out of pocket if they want Global Entry (while the credit would still cover TSA Pre-Check)
  • The silver lining here is that maybe we’ll finally also see these credits potentially count towards NEXUS, which hasn’t been the case in the past (and is arguably the most comprehensive program)

Bottom line

The US CBP is planning on increasing the enrollment fee for Global Entry from $100 to $120, and increasing the enrollment fee for NEXUS from $50 to $120. Obviously this price increase is bad for members, though a positive change is that kids will be able to enroll for free in connection with a parent.

Global Entry is a huge timesaver, so while I don’t like the price increase, I still consider it to be a great value (well, at least I would if I could stop getting the dreaded “X” when returning to the US).

Hopefully credit cards offering statement credits towards enrollment fees would increase the limit of that credit, in which case many of us wouldn’t be any worse off.

What do you make of the prospect of a Global Entry/NEXUS fee increase?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

  1. Isn’t it logical that they’re increasing the price of adults to make up for the lost revenue of charging for children?

  2. You should read the source better. The price changes are currently only for Global Entry and SENTRI currently. It states that NEXUS changes will come in a future federal register. That most likely is because NEXUS is a joint program with Canada so it will have to be negotiated with them.

  3. Global Entry, and I presume NEXUS, involve a background check that happens between application and conditional approval (at least it did when I applied). The interview validated my statements and the results of that background check. I can imagine the costs of performing that background check have gone up.

  4. Just a quick reminder on Nexus: the fee Americans pay is to the Canadian Government. The fee mentioned here will be what Canadians Pay to the American Government

  5. Doesn’t NEXUS only allow you to use global entry at Canadian pre-clearance locations when coming back to the US? And not at any other time when returning from overseas to the US?

  6. NEXUS also works at US airports, entering the US, coming off an international flight. Therefore you could argue it is the better deal for those eligible, not only due the lower fee but also because of the added Canadian benefits (in times of open borders that is).

  7. NEXUS should be cheaper because its for poor Americans and Canadians near the border to cross. They are not road warriors or fat cats with big expense accounts but people who will cross the border to save a little on gas and milk. $120 NEXUS is expensive. Currently, it is US$50 or C$50

  8. My NEXUS expired last November, as did my wife’s and son’s. We all made renewal applications in August 2019. Wifecand son had new cards in 10 days. Mine was held up in a review status. Then, because I live in New York, the renewal application was cancelled in February.

    A few weeks back NYS and DHS made nice with each other, so I resubmitted my now expired NEXUS renewal application, which is in review now.

    NEXUS is great for US-Canada driving. It also allows us expedited entry into Canada from Europe (we’d fly Air Transat to Europe from Montreal which was always cheaper and didn’t have the hassle of a trasfer).

    Flying on Thursday for the first time since February. We’ll see if my pre check still works.

  9. Making it eligible for kids is great for families, and to be honest, excluding small children effectively by charging for them didn’t make a whole lot of sense. If someone is a trusted traveler, than their three year old is as well.

  10. Slightly Off Topic:
    My interview for Global Entry was cancelled 2 days B4 it was scheduled in May,
    after applying, and waiting for nearly a year for conditional approval.
    I am unable to reschedule, contact in any way, or communicate with Homeland security for further instructions. Do I have to start over?
    The Homeland security website shows no appointments available @ local office – period.

    The closest available appointment is 300 miles away.
    Any suggestions?
    Thank you

  11. Seems to be a non-story. It’s a $20 increase for a 5-year purchase… I’d imagine the increase is to cover the background checks, as others mentioned, and to cover the costs of minors now getting it for free. I’d also think the cards will simply increase the perk to cover it, for the same reasons you mentioned.

  12. Out of interest does anyone know if they’ve extended the time for you to get an interview. I finally got approved in April but am based in the UK and obviously haven’t been able to get to the US to do an interview and don’t know when I might be able to.

    Side note. I also paid for two kids then. Annoying that they might be free now. But useful to know for five years time!

  13. Why don’t they just take care of the backlog first before asking people to chip in more money? Ridiculous!

  14. The last time I flew into the US, I was with a friend who didn’t have Global Entry, so we used the app and went through the MyPassport line. It was just as fast as Global Entry, and I’m tempted to let my GE entry lapse and just rely on MyPassport in the future.

  15. A bigger and better development would be to open more enrollment centers outside the US so that it is simple to get Global Entry in the first place. They can hike the fee to cover the extra cost; that’s fine. I would happily pay many more dollars for Global Entry to avoid the shambolic 2 hour, non-air conditioned queue that I encountered when I last landed at JFK in summer 2019…

  16. “The last time I flew into the US, I was with a friend who didn’t have Global Entry, so we used the app and went through the MyPassport line. It was just as fast as Global Entry, and I’m tempted to let my GE entry lapse and just rely on MyPassport in the future.”

    Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t.

    And you don’t get PreCheck if you do that.

    Worth giving both up for $24/year? I know we’re not traveling nearly as much as we used to, but that cost is insignificant vs the benefits.

  17. Seriously worrying about $20 when flying 1st or biz class to Maldives???

    Anyone who can afford to travel often enough to use GE is not fazed by $20 increase

  18. My GE expired August 30, 2019. After an extensive wait my appointment was confirmed for March 2020. Of course that was cancelled due to Covid. I only found out about the cancellation because I saw something on line and called. At that point there was still a human answering the phone. Made another appointment for June…..cancelled without any notice to me….appointment made for August 2020…..cancelled. I now have an appointment for December 21, 2020 at a location 200 miles from my home. We’ll see. All of this is crazy as it’s not like we can go anywhere anyhow!

  19. Which credit cards offer the fee credit? I have a mileage plus club card and they told me it is not a perk! After stating old Continental paid for my first application they posted a courtesy credit one time. I also have an Amex Platinum Business Card, but did not think to try that for the fee credit.

  20. I have Global Entry but after the 5 year period needed to reapply. I just did. It was approved but another interview is required.
    I do not understand the reason for a second interview after I had the Global Entry before.

  21. Even if your rebate doesn’t increase to cover the whole thing it’s still insanely cheap with your credit card deals. We have to pay the full fee plus the £50 background check fee (which presumably makes it even less costly for administration!)

  22. Most of us have more than one card that gives the TSA/Global entry benefit so can’t we just split the payment on two cards?

  23. What is the logic for “silver lining here is that maybe we’ll finally also see these credits potentially count towards NEXUS”? If credit cards wanted to cover it, they could cover it now when it’s cheaper than the other options they cover. Thats a win-win (customer happy, and smaller hit to the card issuer bottom line).

  24. I have Nexus. I am unhappy about the price increase. I am angry that we has a US govt that cant seem to get it together enough to deal with the Covid-19 crisis like other western nations have so that countries like Canada aren’t afraid to let Americans in. I actually feel like we should get extra free months tacked on to our current Nexus to compensate for not being able to use it—not that I expect that to ever happen.

  25. USA . . . get it together!
    Global Entry application and the cost and trouble involved, is a JOKE!
    No matter how i try to get to the US as a German Citizen, i pay to a Government that’s not worth a Penny for the work they do.
    Wait for an appointment date after applying for it and of course pay for it right away (gladly AmEx paid for it) but still after 14 months of the sate of applying online, N O T H I N G, so even the 100,-$ fee is a joke, now it’s supposed to go up even more, . . . to pay for Trumps weekend Golf flights to FL?
    What a joke!
    It’s time that the EU starts a Visa rule for all US people flying there.I guess that would cost €40,- (US$47) while a US Tourist visa costs US$140,- for 10 years or 13US$ for ESTA for 2 years, plus ALL the trouble to get either of them.
    False infos (except the passport data) would never be discovered, so what background check would be done and what takes so long plus what is the cost for at all i’m asking myself?

  26. In this context: does anybody know whether the airport CBP offices are still open to walk ups to have details like address changed in your profile?

  27. @Aric: I think that’s a fair strategy if you’re someone who does one international trip a year or something infrequent like that. Odds are that you’ll be ok with MyPassport in that situation. But if you travel more, it’s probably worth paying to have a sure thing. I’ve seen MyPassport lines be just as short as GE, but I’ve also seen them be significantly longer. Without GE, you’re rolling the dice.

  28. Waiving the fee for children makes sense. They should also waive the interview for kids 31 and under. The fact that I have to take my 2 year old in for an interview is pretty bizarre and nonsensical. $20 spread out over 5 years seems like a pretty minor increase and I doubt will stop anyone from enrolling.

  29. So a few thoughts on this.

    As a long-time Nexus member (basically since it’s inception, well before global entry even existed, and was a CANPASS member prior – basically Nexus for the Canadian-side only), a little disappointed to see the Nexus fee aligned to the GE one. That said, I figured it would happen at some point. It’s been $50 since the CANPASS days, so clearly, it was due for an increase. This much of an increase seems like a little much, but given the benefits, still a better deal than GE. I can’t even fathom how much time I’ve saved in the last, 20 years or so with these trusted traveler programs.

    On kids, I’ve always been confused why they charged for them for GE. Kids have always been free for NEXUS. Also makes sense they are aligning here.

    For cards, I’ve been very disappointed that the cards have only covered GE, and not Nexus. My understanding is there have been some Amex customers who have been able to get Nexus credited if asking. I’ve tried twice to get Chase to reimburse me (once for my membership, and then when that failed, for my wife’s) charged to the card, and they refused. It doesn’t make sense to me. Isnt the charge, at least for online apps, all from DHS anyway? I really hope that they will re-consider this now that the cost is the same. Because on the other hand, the cheaper cost of NEXUS made this not as big a deal, but now with the same cost, and for paying $2250 in annual fees for benefits ( 5 * 450 – since that’s how often you can really use it), it really no longer makes sense for the differentiation.

  30. Lucky me, I just renewed my NEXUS card. Too bad I can’t go to Canada or to most of Europe, thanks to the fact that our government is so colossally incompetent that we citizens have become the “typhoid Marys” of the developed world.

  31. Those fees are cheap, especially considering what you get for it, and the fact it’s for 5 years, not an annual thing.
    Think of foreign travellers (or ‘aliens’ as your government like to call us) who don’t have access to such lurks. We have to grind our way through hours-long lines at major entry points like LAX and JFK.

  32. How about just biometric e-gates for everyone — no application, no interview, no fee — like in Europe? Why is this country so backwards? The United States really is the “new Soviet Union.”

  33. I hope the credit card issuers will see that there will be added value by crediting cardholders the full $120 as opposed to the $100.

  34. The Trusted Traveler Protection Program needs improvement. Last year, October 2019, I applied for Global Entry. Paid my $100. Since interviews were available, I thought it would be great to have for my return December/January trip from Australia. Not. Never heard anything from them until one week ago. There is no phone number or anyway I know if for contacting them.

    Now at least I know they still exist and didn’t just close down with my money collected almost a year ago. I have yet to set up an interview. Let’s hope that’s not as inconvenient. As it is, I have to spend 4 hours RT driving to attend an interview. The program really needs much improvement IMHO,

  35. @KR: ….. i totally agree on any point 100%.
    It seems like trying to travel to a 3rd World Country!
    But as usual, US Officials like to complain about German bureaucracy There own is so outdated and ridicules, it’s hard to believe, foreigners are still doing Business with such a Country.

  36. Ben, can you dig into NY residents and get any information on when we can get our Global Entry back again?
    Thanks, Dana

  37. “minors (under the age of 18) would be exempt from the application fee”

    This is HUGE. My daughter and son-in-law have two kids, but only he applied for GE … and that was only so he could get TSA Precheck, which almost always lets traveling companions go through the Precheck lanes as long as the “lead traveler” has it. They didn’t get GE for everyone because it would have cost them $400, and with two toddlers, they’re on a tight budget as it is.

  38. For anyone who has applied recently, you’ll know that there is a huge backlog for approving applications. As mentioned in this article, that and the interview are the cost of administering the program. It seems obvious to me if there is a backlog, then you need more funds to hire people to reduce that. The price increase sounds very justified.

    However,i would also argue that travelers not enrolled also benefit, as there are shorter lines at customs. They should consider seeking increased taxes/fees on non-enrolled entrants as well.

  39. @Steffl, please tell me you are not from Berlin…immigration for non-EU passports is not one of the better examples of German efficiencies. Routinely wait 45-60 minutes to clearly relatively short immigration lines during off times. 4-6 staff and 1-2 open lanes. Supervisors doing….absolutely nothing. It takes 45 minutes to clear a line of 20 people. Technology is unchanged since the 1980s. Overall, I rather enjoy Germans but please do not lecture on airport efficiency (or use of electronic payment systems).

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